Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® New York


Tomas Tranströmer

Black coffee at sidewalk cafes
With chairs and tables like gaudy insects.

It is a precious sip we intercept
Filled with the same strength as Yes and No.

It is fetched out of gloomy kitchens
And looks into the sun without blinking.

In daylight a dot of wholesome black
Quickly drained by the wan patron...

Like those black drops of profundity
Sometimes absorbed by the soul

That give us a healthy push: Go!
The courage to open our eyes.

Translated from the Swedish by May Swenson and Leif Sjöberg

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"Espresso," translated by May Swenson and Leif Sjöberg, from Windows and Stones: Selected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer. Copyright © 1971 by University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.


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